First, climate change is melting Washington’s glaciers, as the Wenatchee World reports (The World requires subscription, but the piece is republished here.) The article notes:
“Nearly all of the state’s 700 glaciers are receding rapidly, and others have disappeared in the past few decades.”
(Note the throw-backish disclaimer late in the article: the Wenatchee World’s editorial line dictates that the human role in climate change be termed an unproved theory, despite the declarations of the National Academy of Sciences and many others.)
Second, the global-warming-accelerated spread of bark beetles in British Columbia, which we posted about here, has worsened, according to the CBC. The province’s chief beetle killer says that beetles could wipe out four-fifths of the province’s full-grown pine by 2013. Of course, the announcement could be political: Victoria is using the beetle infestation as cover for a massive log-o-rama.
Some day soon, I hope, Cascadia’s media will begin to frame each such story as part of the larger pattern of changes wrought by our overreliance on fossil fuels. Presented as isolated incidents they do not form a cohesive narrative that helps citizens to understand their world and act.
Disappearing glaciers and endangered pine forests—along with traffic deaths, air pollution, oil wars, and oil spills—are costs of burning fossil fuels. The people who burn the fuels ought to see those costs included in the sticker price.